Spotlight Friday (106)

Hello my lovelies!  Happy Easter Weekend!  It’s perhaps the one holiday everyone uses as the gateway to the spring.  And what’s spring (or really any season) without some new books to look forward to?  Here are three more to drool over!

The Taking (The Taking, #1) by Kimberly Derting

Release Date: April 29, 2014

Summary (from Goodreads):

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

What’s To Like: I love the premise behind this story.  I mean, what would you do if suddenly five years have gone by and everyone’s moved on?  I think it’s one of our greatest fears as humans.  We hate the idea that we’ll be forgotten, and that’s almost what happens to Kyra.  While I’m not sold on this “little green men” thing beyond a drunk rant, I think there’s something pretty sneaky going on here.  And Derting has the writing chops to pull it off.

My review of The Taking

Tease by Amanda Maciel

Release Date: April 29, 2014

Summary (from Goodreads):

From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.

Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault. At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.

What’s To Like: This feels a lot like 13 Reasons Why in that the people left behind are forced to reflect on what they did–and didn’t–do to prevent someone’s suicide.  This is highly relevant stuff, and I feel like this is going to be an interesting read.  It’s going to be heartbreaking, I can tell.

After the End (After the End, #1) by Amy Plum

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Summary (from Goodreads):

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she’s trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

What’s To Like: I love this plot.  I love it.  There are so many books that do the whole post-apocalyptic plot, but this is such an interesting twist on that.  It’s almost backwards.  We go from the extraordinary world to the ordinary instead of the other way around.  Also, I’m very interested in what Juneau thinks of our world, and how she describes what she sees.  I always find that hilarious.

My review of After the End

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